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Animal diets in the Waterberg based on stable isotopic composition of faeces

Faecal analysis of diet in free-ranging mammals can provide insight into local habitat conditions by reflecting the resources actually utilized. Here we used stable light isotope analysis of faeces to qualify, as well as quantify, certain aspects of mammal food selection in a recovering, nutrient-poor, savanna habitat in the Waterberg. Stable carbon isotope ratios in faeces reflect proportions of C3 -foods (browse) to C4 -foods (grass) consumed, whereas stable nitrogen isotope ratios reflect a combination of trophic behaviour, protein intake,

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Management Effectiveness and Potential for Tourism of Peri-Urban Lusaka National Park, Zambia: A Preliminary Assessment

Management effectiveness of a park is multi-faceted subject with implications on various aspects of its existence. Determination of the management effectiveness of a protected area is often linked to monitoring processes. Wildlife monitoring is a critical component of wildlife management and integral part of a research programme for Lusaka National Park (49.76 km2 ). A preliminary study was undertaken to determine the protected area management effectiveness, initially by ascertaining the status and distribution of mega-fauna resources. This was followed by

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Evaluating expert-based habitat suitability information of terrestrial mammals with GPS-tracking data

Aim: Macroecological studies that require habitat suitability data for many species often derive this information from expert opinion. However, expert-based information is inherently subjective and thus prone to errors. The increasing availability of GPS tracking data offers opportunities to evaluate and supplement expert-based information with detailed empirical evidence. Here, we compared expert-based habitat suitability information from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with habitat suitability information derived from GPS-tracking data of 1,498 individuals from 49 mammal species. Location:

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Low effective mechanical advantage of giraffes’ limbs during walking reveals trade-off between limb length and locomotor performance

Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) possess specialized locomotor morphology, namely elongate and gracile distal limbs. While this contributes to their overall height and enhances feeding behavior, we propose that the combination of long limb segments and modest muscle lever arms results in low effective mechanical advantage (EMA, the ratio of in-lever to out-lever moment arms), when compared with other cursorial mammals. To test this, we used a combination of experimentally measured kinematics and ground reaction forces (GRFs), musculoskeletal modeling, and inverse dynamics

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Understanding community attitudes toward the Angolan giraffe (Giraffa giraffa angolensis) and its potential reintroduction into Iona National Park, Angola

Wildlife introductions are often proceeded by habitat suitability studies, although to date the possible impact of human communities’ attitudes towards reintroductions of species have seldom been assessed in any detail. Iona National Park (NP) in Angola is inhabited by people, predominately on the eastern fringes, and as such any reintroduction would benefit from the buy-in of these communities. Therefore, understanding community attitudes is essential for successfully reintroducing the Angolan giraffe (Giraffa giraffe angolensis) in Iona NP where the species has

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Challenges To Animal Welfare During Transportation Of Wild Mammals: A Review (1990–2020)

Wild mammal transport is an important component of conservation translocation as well as the economic wildlife trade. This article reviews the physiological responses to transport that have been measured in wild mammalian species, factors associated with these responses, and interventions that have been applied to mitigate these responses. By organizing the literature review along the ‘‘five domains model’’ of animal welfare, namely, the physical-functional domains (nutrition, environment, health, behavior) and the mental domain (mental state), it can be demonstrated that

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Giraffe skin disease: Clinicopathologic characterization of cutaneous filariasis in the critically endangered Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis)

Giraffe skin disease (GSD) is an emerging disease of free-ranging giraffe recognized in the last 25 years in several species, including the critically endangered Nubian giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis camelopardalis) of Uganda. Identifying the cause of GSD and understanding its impact on health were deemed paramount to supporting these vulnerable populations. Sixty-four giraffes were immobilized in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, from 2017 to 2019, and GSD lesions were opportunistically biopsied. Fifty-five giraffes (86%) had GSD lesions on the neck, axilla,

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Large herbivore dynamics in northern Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

We compared densities and distribution of wild ungulates and domestic livestock based on aerial surveys conducted during 1991 – 2010 in northern parts of Gonarezhou National Park (GNP), Zimbabwe. The sampled area covered approximately 320 km2 (Chipinda Pools area) representing ca. 27 % of the GNP, which was colonized by a few herder families along with their cattle in the year 2000. We hypothesized that (1) human and livestock encroachment in the park would lead to decline in densities of

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Dietary abundance distributions: Dominance and diversity in vertebrate diets

Diet composition is among the most important yet least understood dimensions of animal ecology. Inspired by the study of species abundance distributions (SADs), we tested for generalities in the structure of vertebrate diets by characterising them as dietary abundance distributions (DADs). We compiled data on 1167 population-level diets, representing >500 species from six vertebrate classes, spanning all continents and oceans. DADs near-universally (92.5%) followed a hollow-curve shape, with scant support for other plausible rank-abundance-distribution shapes. This strong generality is inherently

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Paradise lost: large mammal remains as a proxy for environmental change from MIS 6 to the Holocene in southern Africa

Analyses of faunal remains are a key means of inferring palaeoenvironmental change. In this paper, the use of faunal remains as a proxy for environmental conditions from Marine Isotope Stage 6 to the Holocene in southern Africa is reviewed. The focus of this review is on large herbivore abundance and how these fluctuate temporally and regionally in accordance with palaeo-climatic shifts. Here, southern Africa is divided into four eco-regions loosely based on climatic, biotic and zoogeographic traits: the Cape Floristic

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